18 Holes With Tina Mickelson: San Diego Country Club
San Diego Country Club
88 L Street, Chula Vista
San Diego Country Club has a history as diverse as its layout. The oldest country club in San Diego, it debuted in 1897 with a nine-hole facility on land that was donated by the city, in what is now Balboa Park.
When construction began for the 1915 Panama–California Exposition, the club moved to the area now occupied by Loma Portal Elementary School. But with increasing military presence during World War I and rapid residential development, the club relocated yet again. Chula Vista was an appealing location because of its reasonably priced land and generous water supply.
On September 3, 1921, the golf course and clubhouse officially opened and was the first San Diego course to feature grass greens at a time when sand greens were the norm.
Grading and leveling in the 1920s was done by horse and plow. As a result, the fairways keep with the natural lay of the land and offer diverse lies.
At first glance, the golf course appears straightforward. However, golfers quickly realize just how difficult this course can be once they experience the rolling fairways and testy short-game shots.
One of SDCC’s most endearing members was the late Billy Casper, who started at the club as a caddie and junior golfer before going on to become one of the most well-known golfers of his time.
With a history that dates back more than a century and a course that has traversed all across San Diego, the club feels like a step back in time. It’s a special place that recalls the simpler era of classic golf.